What is Trans-Evolutionary Change?

The Royal Society’s 07-09 November ‘New Trends’ meeting in London faced an extension of the modern evolutionary synthesis in biology at the same time that a replacement of Darwinian evolutionary theory was being suggested. In light of the second option, particularly regarding the ‘philosophy and social science’ component of the Royal Society meeting, we introduce the notion of ‘trans-evolutionary change’ involving human choice and action.

Trans-evolutionary change (TEC) solves both a negative and a positive problem. First, how to identify limits or borders around evolutionary change so that evolution is not conceptually over-extended. Second, how to study the teleological person-oriented dimension of change-over-time in social sciences and humanities (SSH) that is absent or proportionally minimal in ‘agent-less’ or largely ‘non-human’ fields of study. This combination of solutions enables us to break free from naturalistic ‘Darwinian’ ideas in SSH.

Trans-Evolutionary Change (TEC) is:

1) A category of change by human beings (i.e. in the anthropocene period) that occurs across, above, under, <, >, beyond or through the temporal and spatial scales found in biological and other naturalistic evolutionary theories;

2) Not only (reducible to) the externalist ‘Darwinian’ version of ‘natural selection’ acting upon an object from ‘outside,’ but rather also invokes the internalist (e.g. extended mind) notion of ‘human selection’ (Wallace 1890) from ‘inside’ a person;

3) Investigable on both the individual (person) and population (society) levels simultaneously, interactively and proportionally;

4) Dedicated to intentional, mindful, wilful, planned and directed changes (i.e. teleological, cf. Grassmann’s extension theory) that are temporally and spatially lived and enacted by human beings within their (read: our) social, cultural, natural, national and other ‘environments.’

5) Inclusive of theories about source of ethics and morality that transcend adaptationist evolutionary accounts based on naturalist reductionism.

At the time of publication, this author is aware of no other previous usage of the term ‘trans-evolutionary change’.

For more, see here: https://social-epistemology.com/2016/11/09/no-fuller-than-complete-darwins-age-comes-to-an-end-gregory-sandstrom/

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E-mail: gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com

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